A list of 20+ performances that have shocked
These are my notes from a lecture/workshop I just gave in Creative Performer 2 at QUT this afternoon. I forgot to give my students break in the three-hour class, so several of them were gasping for a choker by the end. We sat around discussing music mainly, and the ways context (space, audience) affects performance. The title of the lecture was ‘Performance as Shock’. I didn’t show all the following by any means, and we showed several others – notably one featuring on men’s dicks substituted by heads, some featuring big booby-ed women, and one from those bloody performing North Korean children – but most of these were discussed in one shape or another.
I drew the line at coprophilia.
Sorry GG Allin fans.
1. Elvis Presley – Mystery Train (to tie in with a quote about Sam Phillips drawn from the Greil Marcus book of the same name)
2. Madonna – Like A Prayer (always good to mention the stigmata)
The following four were subject of a class discussion.
1. Sun Ra (dissonant but not shocking)
2. Justice Yeldham @ Le Bourg, Lausanne, Switzerland (we only lasted a few minutes into this, as I took pity on a couple of students sheltering behind their laptops)
3. Katie Stelmanis – Natural Woman (agreed that middle America would find this disturbing)
4. Teddy & The Frat Girls – I Wanna Be A Man (relented after two minutes)
1. Neneh Cherry pregnant on TOTP (no one quite understood why this was considered shocking, even at the time)
2. The KLF + Extreme Noise Terror (at the Brits!)
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